Monday, 20 October 2014

Steamboat & Grill For Recovery

After a 42K run two weeks ago and a 22K run last week, nothing beats some recovery meal and that means protein!

Usually I'd go for some satay (I've posted about satay preciously, if you noticed) but this time we wanted some steamboat. The cold, rainy nights that we're experiencing currently sure warrants for something warm and hot.
We went to the usual place we go in Bandar Baru Bangi called Steamboat Antarabangsa. Simple, steamboat & grill affair but for the price, I feel it's totally worth the value.

All-you-can-eat at RM27.00 for adults and RM15.00 for children 5-12 years.

But we weren't really there for the steamboat items, that's actually the side dish. Hahaha
This is the highlight. The grill items and specifically grilling lamb. Wahahaha....

Yeah, of course we ate some fish, chicken, beef, veges... but if I'm not mistaken we had like four or five rounds of lamb. Nyam nyam...
Burp.

Nothing beats a complete meal by enjoying some ABC and ice cream. ^^

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Weekend Recovery And A Training 22K Run In Putrajaya

was the intention when I signed up for CAPAM (Commonwealth Association of Public Administrator & Management) International Run this Sunday. 

It was a pretty last minute decision and I actually signed up on Friday, after seeing Gme's update on Facebook that it's still open for registration. It matched with my training plan which requires me to do a 21K run this weekend. Didn't matter that I was unable to follow the rest of the week's plan, making this 22K run my only run this week.

The catch was, I had to do manual registration at the race kit collection centre located at YWCA in Jalan Hang Jebat. 
Photo credit : Salsah Fadzilah
I was lucky one of my running friends was heading there and helped me to register. Thank you! ^^

The morning of the run started ominously. I slept early the night before, without having dinner so I woke up with a tell-tale sign of having gastritis. Ain't exactly a comfortable sensation as my chest was still feeling tight and painful even after I had my breakfast of a cup of cocoa and a bar of snickers.

Zaini asked whether I wanted to get any breakfast prior to the run but I wasn't keen on having anything heavy so I declined. 
Instead, I pop in a table of Hammer Perpetuem Solids before the start of the run. I prefer this as my fuel as a tablet of this not only provides me energy during a run but it also makes me feel full. 
We arrived at the starting line at around 6:10am with the starting pen still quiet and devoid of any runners.

When I returned from the toilet (long queue so didn't manage to pee yet), the announcer was announcing that CAPAM International Run is an international event and they allow foreigners to run in it, instead of limiting it to locals and foreigners with student visa/work permit. Yada yada yada...

No wonder lah got sooooooooo many African runners running in this run. The rather lucrative prize money is of course an incentive too.

Zaini didn't run today so he assumed photographer duties. 

I've been told that the route was the exact route as last Saturday's Putrajaya Night Marathon Half Marathon route but since I didn't enter the night run last week, I ran totally blissfully ignorant of the "killer" route. Actually, I look up the route map but of course it didn't register yet how tough or mental it would be, despite part of the route is actually part of my training route during weeekends. Hahaha adoi.
Photo credit : Gme
Started slow and happy and caught up with a running acquaintance just after KM4 and ran with him for a bit. Sure was helpful to have a running buddy to keep one occupied and not focused on the hilly route!

I think we ran for a few KMs before he sped off while I continued with my slug pace.
I was quite surprised to see hubby waiting with a camera ready, taking photos just before the 7.5K water station. Pleasantly surprised as he told me earlier that he plan to just wait for me in the car, sleeping. ^^

Have to say, the volunteers at ALL of the water stations were absolutely marvelous. Friendly and helpful. Quite a hoot too, some of them. Thank you dearies for taking care and making sure we drink. 

They got to be one of the best volunteers group I've met in all my races. THANK YOU again!

I do wish there's a banana or something halfway through the route but tarak lah... So with gastritis still a worry and running with a tight chest, I lumbered on. Lost my running buddy after this water station and spent more time at around KM9-10 making a detour to head to the toilet. 

There weren't any portable toilets available (low key events usually don't have them except perhaps at the Start/Finish line) so thank goodness that Putrajaya does have public toilets scattered around its township, Fuh~

There was a toilet too when we ran past a Muslim cemetery in Presint 20. Yup me dearies, we ran past a cemetery. Imagine pulak running this route at night, at Putrajaya Night Marathon. Spooky...

Pop in another Hammer tablet as tummy was feeling hollow to keep hunger at bay. Note to self : don't skip dinner the night before a race even if I wasn't feeling hungry. EAT!

The route was undulating but unlike SCKLM that I did last week, this felt tougher. Much tougher. I guess it was partly due to not having a crowd of people running alongside me, to make me less focused on the route. At SCKLM, I enjoyed the vibe of other runners that I didn't focus much on the distance I was running.

True enough, when I caught up with another running acquaintance at KM18. I felt much better and we continued on chatting and sharing tips. OK, I'll be checking out the Blue Tin Nivea! Thanks for the tip. :-)
We bumped into hubby who was waiting patiently for me at KM20. I saw hubby running behind me after that and thought he'd run with me but he motioned for me to continue while he used a shortcut and headed off to the finish line to wait for me. Yet again. Hahaha
One last incline to tackle 1KM+ before the finish line and a 1K of flat route and I finally finish my 22K run. Yeah well, the distance of the run was amended and the 21K run became a 22+K run while the 10K became a 9.3K run and the 5K fun run became a 5.7K run.

I seriously didn't know my timing this time as my Timex watch went a bit wonky and I just switched it off after 14 minutes of running. Good thing that the race organiser had placed distance markers at every KM. That was sure helpful.

All in all, this was rather a tough 22K LSD for me. It challenges me both physically and mentally this time. I don't like inclines but I find that I hate long stretch of flat expressway even more! Especially in broad daylight! It's always tough for me to train using this route but I guess it's tougher doing it in a race. Make sense or not?

But I'm happy I did it. Happy that I met friends. Happy to be out and enjoy Putrajaya's morning air.

I probably will not be running in any races until the first week of November and just run around my apartment's compound (a.k.a. carpark). Will be running in a fun run at SJMC Run on Nov 2nd.

If you're running SJMC, see you there! :-)

Friday, 17 October 2014

Relax And Chill

cos it's TGIF!
I should be looking forward to sit back and enjoy the weekend. Hihihi

But weekend is kinda hectic nowadays. I usually have assignments that I want to finish and submit by Saturday morning so I usually stay up on Friday night.

Then of course there's the running thing.

After last Sunday's full marathon at Standard Chartered KL Marathon, I just signed myself up for a 22km run in Putrajaya this Sunday.

FUN!

Have a great weekend ahead, y'all! :-)


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Holiday In The City Centre

The Saturday before Standard Chartered KL Marathon was held, Son had to attend a Saturday at his school.

Seeing that we need to send him to school and then collect our race kit at the Underground of Dataran Merdeka, I reserved a hotel room so that we could make it like a short vacation; even if its in right smack in Kuala Lumpur! It was pretty much a last minute decision, as I only made the booking on Friday night. Good thing there was still room available the Pacific Express Hotel.

I chose the hotel due to its close proximity to the start/finish line of Standard Chartered KL Marathon and paying RM150++ for a superior room with a view was good for me. A nice treat for the whole family too, as I feel it'd be tough for hubby to immediately drive home after finishing our full marathon on Sunday morning.
Setting off early Saturday morning. Gotta send Son to school first!
We then spent about two hours walking in Lake Garden and then we walked from Lake Garden to Dataran Merdeka to collect our race kit.
Had loads of fun at the REPC after collecting our race kit. Bumping into fellow runners and taking photos, won some free goodies and went on a bit of running related window shopping at the booths there.
Walking back to Lake Garden where we parked our car, we then picked up Son from school before heading off for lunch in Bangsar.

A curry lunch. Yummy! 

Then it was time to check-in.
Was pleased with our room at the Pacific Express. A Twin bed, a sofa, a table and complete amenities. Free wi-fi, of course. Hahaha

We lepaked in the room for a bit to relaxed (I napped for a while since I didn't have enough sleep as I was rushing for an assignment until 1.00am earlier) and got ready to head out at 5.00pm.

We then went on tourist mode, covering Central Market for a bit of souvenir shopping for our impending vacation in November. Wanna buy some nice Malaysian made souvenirs for friends we'll be meeting during our vacation, and we got them. Yeay!

Dinner was also at Central Market. At the food court.
Soup and Chicken rice. Simple and nothing too funky. Don't want an upset tummy running a full marathon the next morning, do we? ^^

The next morning, I woke up at 3.00am while hubby woke half an hour later. As we're so near to the starting line, we had a leisurely preparation and only left our room at 4.00am. The hotel had so kindly placed mineral water at the lobby for us and we each took one and headed to the start line of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

Later, after we finished our marathon, hubby headed back to the hotel first while I stayed behind with a group of my running buddies and only went back to our room at 11.30am. Sure nice to know that I could go to my room leisurely, shower and later after resting a bit, went back to our home instead of driving back all sweaty and smelly. ^^

I think I'd check-in to Pacific Express Hotel again next year if we're doing the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. The room was nice and comfy. Though I wish they let us check-out at 2.00pm. I did get a later check-out; instead of 12.00pm, we check-out at 1.00pm. But an hour extra would be nice for us to relax and rest our tired legs.

Anyways, it was a super fun short weekend getaway, even if its right in our own backyard! :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

New Route, New Kind Of Fun At SCKLM 2014

I have to admit, I have been tirelessly (or some would say, rather tiresome) in posting about the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 and all that blog updates came to a finale on Sunday, Oct 12th when Kuala Lumpur was swarmed with 35,000 runners. It's a sight to behold and an experience to cherish.
Both hubby and I ran in the full marathon category. A month plus after our full marathon in River Jungle Marathon. Kinda suicidal since we hadn't had much mileage a month leading to this Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) apart from a hike to Nuang a day before my birthday, a 5K run at BOH Highlands Run a week after that.

I only managed to do a few short runs ranging from 3-5K last week and no mileage at all until the marathon. Hahaha Adoi.

Anyways, we just plan to run and finish. Well, we did, didn't we? So, yeay us. LOL

SCKLM 2014 sees a new route and featured two elevated highways. Full closure of two elevated highways. Now, full road closure is a novelty in running here and it was sure nice to have the road all to ourselves. I love the experience!

Flag-off was at Dataran Merdeka, and at 4.30am for Full Marathon category and it was a reverse route from the previous year. Instead of heading down to Brickfields, we headed towards Jalan TAR and on to Jalan Sultan Ismail.

Couldn't help noticing hotel guests (at Renaissance Hotel) and clubbers along the route "harassing" volunteers and some runners for making them stuck and not able to drive through. Didn't these business owners get the memo about road closure and made the announcement accordingly to their patrons?

Anyway, it was mostly flat route for the first 9K before we entered AKLEH. Both my Timex GPS and hubby's Polar reading went a bit of haywire when we were running in the city centre, I guess due to the high-rise buildings.

Subuh was when we got to KM8'ish and some runners stopped at the Bomba Station at KM9 to perform their Subuh prayers. SCKLM had put up prayer tents at KM11, and some runners had kindly donated some kain pelikat and kain batik for runners to use there. Thank you! Banyak pahala uols. :)
We had an easy plan. Reaching AKLEH, we'd walk the incline and run on the flats and declines. We needed to keep a conservative effort, seeing that neither of us had much mileage this time.
The route before the u-turn had a really magnificent view of the twin tower. I was really tempted to keep on stopping and take photos of the tower but didn't take that many as I didn't want to get left behind by hubby!

But I ran while enjoying the view of Kuala Lumpur skyscrapers and it was such an awesome experience. When else do you get to stop along AKLEH, stop and soak in the view instead of just driving pass, hurriedly?
One of the water stations on AKLEH. Runners taking over the highway!
Friends who overtook me at KM14. The rest was already far in front too, I guess.

Congrats guys on your VFM!

It was here that hubby got a bit of stomach issue after he ate a power gel and he started walking. I was foreseeing a boring stretch ahead and didn't want to start walking so I asked him whether I should keep a lead and keep pace.

He told me to go ahead and meet him at the finishing line later.

I kept a lead, fully expecting that he'd catch up and maybe take the lead at around KM30. With that in mind, I ran ahead and stopped at each water stations from KM14 onwards while making sure I can see him catching up behind me.

When I reached KM18, I suddenly thought of aiming for a sub6 timing so I tried making sure that I'd get to each water station at KM18 and KM20 at a certain time. I did and was stoked about it that I think my second 10K was faster than my first 10K.

It was after KM20 that we started to enter DUKE and I couldn't help laughing (what else can I do?)  at the sight of the steep flyover that we needed to run up to, to enter DUKE.

I tell you, AKLEH and DUKE sure give you an undulating experience! 
Got to KM21 mark at around 2:47.  Good, because it was under 3-hours. Though I had to remind myself that it'll be hard work to maintain that same timing for the balance 21K but hey! No harm trying! Hubby arrived at the KM21 around 3hours. 

I had actually started to get hungry at KM20 mark. The whiff of food cooking when I pass the Gurdwara Sahib Ampang sure made my tummy rumble.

But alas, no solid food and only drinks (water and isotonic) served until we got to KM27(?) and we got our hands on some powergel. I don't normally take gels, but I was hungry so I took and downed the Kona Punch Powerbar gel served there. Good thing it wasn't funky tasting or anything and my tummy didn't protest.

Rule of thumb : don't take anything new during your marathon in case it doesn't agree with you.

Perked up a bit with the power gel and also seeing a friend waiting on DUKE to give us runners some cheer and taking photos. Appreciate it, Kam! ^^
My aim for 30K was to do something less than 4:30 and I got to this mark at 4:15. Yeay!

Couldn't believe I was still feeling relatively good and I guess it must be the very conservative pace I was keeping.

By this time, I kinda lost hubby though. I waited for him for a bit but didn't see him so I told myself that I'll wait for him at the finish line if I can't see him catching up.
It was at the KM30 water station that I got to eat.

Actually, this was my first banana ever eaten while running in a race. I usually didn't have the appetite to eat but that morning, I was so hungry; I devoured this banana in no time.

Feeling rather full, I only ran slowly after leaving the water station and walked up another incline. Then pretty soon, we were leaving DUKE and out to the busy Jalan Kuching. Skipped the KM31 water station only to be greeted with these familiar faces opening an independent water station for us!

I was so happy seeing them, I was waving to them like 50m from where they were waiting. Hahaha
Thank you all for being up, waiting and serving us countless fruits, chocolates, coke, root beer and even karipap for us GC runners (and others too). I heart you!!!

I stopped and lingered here for a few minutes; eating, drinking, taking photos, gossiping... 

Then off I went again. Jogged a bit until we reached another ascent. Then walk lor. It's back to walk incline (which was a lot at this point onwards) and run declines. Flat was slow jogged.

Saw more familiar faces taking photos at the cooling arch near the tennis complex in Jalan Duta. Thank you Lini!

And from there onwards, it was Bukit Tunku! BUKIT!
Saw another awesome independent water station manned by Zinov (& wife) and Zul from the PACat Team. They served cakes, watermelons, drinks...

Of course I stopped here.

The watermelon was a godsend. Sedap. ^^

There was a decline afterwards and I slowly jogged down. By this time, I realised that with about 8k left, a sub-6 timing wasn't gonna happen but I still want to finish it in a decent time so I coaxed myself to run whenever I can and speed-walk on the inclines.

Actually, I wanted to run. It's much faster to finish if I run instead of walking, right?
Along the road next to Lake Garden. More incline. Huh. Hahaha

Just a few km to go but dang... it's damn hilly last few KMs!

After another jog/walk from here until Majestic Hotel, I made an attempt to run. Like, run.

The last 500m towards the finish line, I pushed. The adrenaline rush from the supporters (and runners who had finished) made me run towards the finish line. Yes, I was tired but seeing them cheer lifted up my spirits and give me energy. Again, thank you!

I didn't get my sub6. It wasn't my PB either. But I have to say, I really enjoyed my run.

I had fun! And that's what's important for me. Though I guess I need to train smart to prepare for my Nov marathon. That one, die-die must do sub6 or get sweeped and not be able to finish my marathon! Alamak!
Photos taken along the route, by Lini and Amir's cousin. At KM31 and KM33 or 34 mark.

Of course can smile, if one runs at my slow pace. Miahaha
A hundred meter towards the finishing line, taken by Kam and Rashid.

Thank you!
After crossing the finish line, I waited for others and took some photos and of course waited for the fella in orange vest to finish. Congrats hubby.

Crazy fella who had much less mileage than me leading up to SCKLM.

What can I say? We both cari pasal this time. Huhuhu
I wore both my Timex GPS watch and my Samsung GearFit. I was curious to know how many steps I'd do running a full marathon and the answer is as the above photo. It's counted from the moment I cross the Start line and stop the moment I cross the finish line.

All in all, I had loads of fun today. Sure, some section was boring but that boring section was where I'd actually tried to push myself to run instead of lingering or wasting time walking. So boring route makes me run. There were plenty of inclines which made it tough too. I'll just have to do more hill training to not be afraid to tackle them next year.

Thank you to the race organiser, to the awesomely enthusiastic race volunteers, hardworking cleaners who were sweeping our cups tirelessly fellow runners and all the supporters. You are all GREAT! 

It was also a nice feeling to run a local marathon and see a big crowd of runners in front of me and behind me as opposed to seeing a few of them like I used, in other marathons. Almost 6,000 winners toed the start line today, after all!

Congrats to all of us!

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